Web Design Career Change

Hi guys, it’s nice to finally join this wonderful forum.

I’m a cs graduate from johns hopkins and am thinking of making a shift in career into Web Designing. I have some experience back in college in regards to coding, so i think the aspect of web designing wouldn’t be too alien to me.

html and css are pretty much the most important things i need to know and master first right? html is a given, but what are some other things that are a must know? A friend of mine mentioned a few things to me such as css , adobe flex, dotNet, Csharp, expression blend, flash/silverlight…

From your experience… what would be your personal approach to learning web desgining? html first of course, then css ? and what next?

Reason i’m asking this is that i know absolutely nothing about any of these products/technology other than html, and i would appreciate it if anyone could point me in the right direction and maybe share some of their experience.

In addition, what are some software you guys would recommend for a web designer? what’s a very good html editor, what are the nice tools that i need to acquire.

Finally, does anyone know of any good sites for learning the stuff i need for becoming a good web designer? sites that have tutorials and guides on html, css, or anything that might be helpful for a guy who is just getting his feet wet?

thanks in advance.